2012 American Cheese Month 31 Cheeses in 31 Days: Day Twelve: Middlebury Blue
Cheese: Middlebury Blue
Who: Blue Ledge Farm
Website: Blue Ledge Farm
Where: Salisbury, Vermont
Milk Type: cow, raw
Flavor: a sharp blue up front, barnyard, heavy cream, grassy
In a word: WOW!
I eat a lot of cheese. Yeah, surprise, surprise. If you follow the blog you also know I have a love of English cheese, especially those from Neal’s Yard, with Stichelton near the top of my over-long list favorites.
When I saw Middlebury at my local monger recently I immediately figured it for an English blue… and I’ll tell you what. IT IS EVERY BIT AS GOOD AS THE BEST BRIT BLUES I’VE HAD.
Greg and Hannah premiered Middlebury just last May… and I’ll be very surprised if this doesn’t start building a case full of awards.
I connected with Hannah Sessions to find out more about this wonderful cheese.
“Middlebury Blue came about because Greg (my husband and the cheesemaker) was challenged to make a blue cheese that he liked. We purchase the cow’s milk from a small and lovely herd of Ayrshire cows in the town next door. Ayrshire milk is special for cheesemaking because it has smaller globules than other types of cow’s milk– meaning extra creamy cheese!
Our goal with this cheese is not to make a knock-your-socks off blue, but to let the flavors of the wonderful milk, and the natural flora of our caves come through as well, creating a sweet and nutty cheese with a strong twinge of blue.”
The paste is dense, sharply streaked with the piercings turned blue. There’s an occasional crystalline crunch. As the cheese melts in your mouth, their is pungency, plenty of farmyard, fresh grass and grass not so fresh, an almost Cabrales-like immediacy to the blue bite but it mellows so very well. I can easily eat this one plain, from it’s creamline rind to the firm, dense heart. It has a depth of flavor, a combination of textures I expect from the likes of Stichelton but with none of the occasional metallic quality the last couple of batches of that cheese I’ve tasted.
A phenomenal American blue and must have at my future shop. Did I say wow? WOW!!
PS: Here’s the kicker – Midd Blue is a side project… Blue Ledge is first and foremost a goat milk farm. This is the only cow’s milk cheese they’ve made, something they make when the goat milk. Whatever the milk, Greg is a maestro. Now, I need to get my hands on their Lake’s Edge cheese!
Oh… and they’re also fine artists!